I personally find it hard to generate dislike for the New Orleans Saints. They endured multiple decades of shitty football, and unlike the Seahawks, when they went to the playoffs in the late 80s and early 90s, they lost the opening game every single time because Jim Mora Sr. fails at playoff football. This was a team that was formed in the 60s that did not win their first playoff game until 2000, how terrible is that? Then their stadium was damaged during Hurricane Katrina, and while that became a de facto evacuation center, the 2005 Saints spent the year being ruinously bad and their future in the city was in doubt. They signed Drew Brees in 2006 and it's been smooth sailing to the point where they even won a Super Bowl!
Aside from Peyton Manning (and Russell Wilson), Drew Brees is my favorite QB to watch. Darren Sproles is an awesome little dynamo of great plays. Jimmy Graham is arguably the best TE in football. Hell, they even have two ex-Seahawks (Heater and Herring)! I find them highly enjoyable to watch.
But this post is something totally different. The year after the Saints won the Super Bowl, they had a bit of a "down season", and ultimately lost the division to the Falcons. New Orleans still finished 11-5 but had to go on the road for the wild card round to play the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks, who stand tall as one of the worst teams to ever make the playoffs. All of their regular season losses (including to New Orleans) were by double digits, and Matt Hasselbeck's disastrous play and injury problems kick-started the Charlie Whitehurst experiment.
Yes, the Saints didn't have Pierre Thomas, and ended up starting Julius Jones (cut by the Seahawks early in the regular season), and they also didn't have Jimmy Graham (Jeremy Shockey's destroyed body replaced him). Both of those guys starting would've undeniably affected the outcome of the game, but the Seahawks were also starting Kelly Jennings and Aaron Curry instead of NFL caliber players, so maybe it evens out anyway!
Okay, enough with the talk, relive one of the greatest upsets in NFL history through game thread comments from Field Gulls and Canal Street Chronicles. To better capture the wild back-and-forth nature of the game, I've included a few plays that went against the Seahawks. Enjoy!
Matt Hasselbeck throws interception on 3rd offensive play of the game (3-0 NO)
Hasselbeck's pick led to a New Orleans touchdown (10-0 NO)
John Carlson burns Roman Harper - Act I (10-7 NO)
John Carlson burns Roman Harper - Act II (17-14 NO)
Julius Jones fumbles deep in his own territory, leads to FG (17-17)
Brandon Stokley burns Roman Harper, gives Seattle an improbable lead (24-17 SEA)
Mike Williams gives Seattle a double digit lead (31-20 SEA)
Julius Jones stopped short on 4th and 1 (34-20 SEA)
Seahawks' last offensive possession before "the run" (34-30 SEA)
Beastquake (41-30 SEA)
Seahawks WIN! (41-36 SEA)
The Seahawks would play Chicago the next week and effectively lose the game by halftime, but they etched themselves in stone with this classic.